Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Новак Ђоковић
Novak Đoković
Novak Djokovic Hopman Cup 2011 (cropped).jpg
Djokovic at the 2011 Hopman Cup
Country  Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006)
 Serbia (2006–present)
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1987-05-22) 22 May 1987 (age 26)
Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[1]
Turned pro 2003
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach(es) Marián Vajda & Boris Becker
Prize money

$ 60,460,008

Official website novakdjokovic.com
Singles
Career record 562–135 (80.63%)
Career titles 43
Highest ranking No. 1 (4 July 2011)
Current ranking No. 2 (14 April 2014)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013)
French Open F (2012)
Wimbledon W (2011)
US Open W (2011)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (2008, 2012, 2013)
Olympic Games Bronze medal.svg Bronze Medal (2008)
Doubles
Career record 33–48 (41.77%)
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 114 (30 November 2009)
Current ranking No. 562 (18 November 2013)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2006, 2007)
French Open 1R (2006)
Wimbledon 2R (2006)
US Open 1R (2006)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (2010)
Hopman Cup F (2008, 2013)

Last updated on: 21 April 2014

Signature of Novak Djokovic.jpg
Signature of Novak Djokovic.
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Serbia
Men's Tennis
Bronze 2008 Beijing Singles

Novak Djokovic (Serbian: Novak Đoković, Новак Ђоковић, pronounced [nôʋaːk d͡ʑôːkoʋit͡ɕ] ( ); born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player and former world No. 1 who is currently ranked world No. 2 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is generally considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time.[a]

Djokovic has won six Grand Slam singles titles and has held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 101 weeks. By winning three Grand Slam titles in 2011, Djokovic became the sixth male player to win three Grand Slams in a calendar year. By reaching the 2012 French Open final, he became the ninth player in the Open Era to reach the final of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments and became only the fifth to do so consecutively. Amongst other titles, he won the Tennis Masters Cup in 2008, 2012 and 2013 and was on the Serbian team which won the 2010 Davis Cup. He also won the Bronze medal in men's singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He has won 18 Masters 1000 series titles, breaking a single-season record with five titles in 2011. This places him third on the list of Masters 1000 winners since its inception in 1990.

He holds several men's world records of the Open Era: becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to have reached the semifinals of all four Grand Slam events both separately and consecutively;[14] the first and only man to win three consecutive Australian Open titles in the Open Era;[15] and playing the longest Grand Slam men's singles final in history (5 hours 53 minutes).[16] Djokovic's ATP tournament records include winning 31 consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series matches, playing in the finals at all nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (a record matched by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), and being the only player to win eight.

Djokovic is the first male or female Serbian player to win multiple Grand Slams and the first Serbian player to rank No. 1 for more than 100 weeks. He is the first male player representing Serbia to win a Grand Slam singles title. Djokovic has won numerous awards, including the 2011 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year[17] and the 2012 Best Male Tennis Player ESPY Award. He has won the ATP World Tour Player of the Year twice consecutively, in 2011 and 2012. He is a recipient of the Order of St. Sava[18] and the Order of the Star of Karađorđe.[19]

Early and personal lifeEdit

Djokovic was born on 22 May 1987 in Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to parents Srđan and Dijana (née Žagar). His two younger brothers, Marko and Đorđe, are also tennis players with professional aspirations.[20] Residing in Monte Carlo, Djokovic has been coached by former Slovak tennis player Marián Vajda since 2006.[21] Similar to Roger Federer, Djokovic is a self-described fan of languages, speaking Serbian, English, German, Italian and French.[22][23] He has been dating Jelena Ristić since 2005[24] and the two became engaged in September 2013.[25]

Djokovic's parents, Srđan and Dijana.

Djokovic began playing tennis at the age of four.[26] In the summer of 1993, the six-year-old was spotted by Yugoslav tennis player Jelena Genčić[27] at Mount Kopaonik where Djokovic's parents ran a fast-food parlour.[28] Upon seeing Djokovic play tennis, she stated: "This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monika Seleš."[20] Genčić worked with young Djokovic over the following six years before realizing that, due to his rapid development, going abroad in search of increased level of competition was the best option for his future. To that end, she contacted Nikola Pilić and in September 1999 the 12-year-old moved to the Pilić tennis academy in Oberschleißheim, Germany, spending four years there.[29] At the age of 14, he began his international career, winning European championships in singles, doubles, and team competition.[20]

Djokovic is known for his often humorous off-court impersonations of his fellow players, many of whom are his friends.[30] This became evident to the tennis world after his 2007 US Open quarterfinal win over Carlos Moyá, where he entertained the audience with impersonations of Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova. His impersonations have also become very popular on video sharing website YouTube.[30] Djokovic also did an impression of John McEnroe after his fourth round match victory at the 2009 US Open, before playing a brief game with McEnroe, much to the delight of the audience.[31] Novak Djokovic is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[32]

Djokovic is a Serbian Orthodox Christian. On 28 April 2011, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia awarded Djokovic the Order of St. Sava I class, the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church, because he demonstrated love for the church, and because he provided assistance to the Serbian people, churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo.[33] Djokovic is a keen fan of Serbian football club Red Star Belgrade,[34] Italian Serie A side A.C. Milan[35] and Portuguese club S.L. Benfica.[36] He is good friends with fellow Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic, whom he has known since the two were children growing up in Serbia, through Djokovic's uncle and Ivanovic's father.[37]

Tennis careerEdit

Start of careerEdit

As a member of the Yugoslav national team, Djokovic reached the finals of the 2001 Junior Davis Cup for players under 14, in which he lost his match in singles.[38] In juniors, Djokovic compiled a singles win/loss record of 40–11 (and 23–6 in doubles), reaching a combined junior world ranking of No. 24 in February 2004.[39]

Tournament 2003 2004
Junior Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A SF
French Open 3R A
Wimbledon A A
US Open 1R A

Djokovic became a professional in 2003.[40] At the beginning of his professional career, he mainly played in Futures and Challenger tournaments, winning three of each type from 2003 to 2005. His first tour-level tournament was Umag in 2004, where he lost to Filippo Volandri in the round of 32.[41]

Djokovic made his first Grand Slam appearance by qualifying for the 2005 Australian Open, where he was defeated by eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round in straight sets, after defeating future rival Stanislas Wawrinka in qualifying.[42][43] However, he went on to reach the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open, coming back from two sets down to defeat Guillermo García-López in the former, and beating Gaël Monfils and Mario Ančić in the latter. Djokovic participated in four Masters events and qualified for two of them, his best performance coming in Paris, where he reached the third round and defeated fourth seed Mariano Puerta along the way.[44]

2006: First ATP titlesEdit

Djokovic at the 2006 U.S. Open

Djokovic became one of the 40 best players in the world singles rankings after making his first quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam, coming at the French Open, and also by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon that year.[45]

Three weeks after Wimbledon, Djokovic won his first ATP title at the Dutch Open in Amersfoort without losing a set, defeating Nicolás Massú in the final. He won his second career title at the Open de Moselle in Metz, and moved into the top 20 for the first time in his career.[46] Djokovic also reached his first career Masters quarterfinal at Madrid during the indoor hardcourt season.[47]

On 9 April 2006, Djokovic clinched a decisive Davis Cup win against Great Britain by defeating Greg Rusedski in four sets in the fourth match of the tie, giving Serbia and Montenegro an insurmountable 3–1 lead in their best-of-five series, thus keeping the country in the Group One Euro/African Zone of Davis Cup. Afterwards, Djokovic briefly considered moving from Serbia to play for Great Britain.[48] Following this match-up, the British media spoke of Djokovic's camp negotiating with the Lawn Tennis Association about changing his international loyalty by joining British tennis ranks.[48] The nineteen-year-old Djokovic, who was ranked sixty-third in the world at the time, mostly dismissed the story at first by saying that the talks were not serious, describing them as "the British being very kind to us after the Davis Cup."[49] However, more than three years later, in October 2009, Djokovic confirmed that the talks between his family and the LTA throughout April and May 2006 were indeed serious:

Britain was offering me a lot of opportunities and they needed someone because Andy [Murray] was the only one, and still is. That had to be a disappointment for all the money they invest. But I didn't need the money as much as I had done. I had begun to make some for myself, enough to afford to travel with a coach, and I said, 'Why the heck?' I am Serbian, I am proud of being a Serbian, I didn't want to spoil that just because another country had better conditions. If I had played for Great Britain, of course I would have played exactly as I do for my country but deep inside, I would never have felt that I belonged. I was the one who took the decision.[50]

2007: Becoming a top-10 player and first Grand slam finalEdit

Djokovic began 2007 by defeating Australian Chris Guccione in the final of the tournament in Adelaide, before losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to eventual champion Roger Federer[51] in straight sets. His performances at the Masters Series events in Indian Wells, and Key Biscayne, where he was the runner-up and champion respectively, pushed him into the world's top 10.[46] Djokovic lost the Indian Wells final to Rafael Nadal, but defeated Nadal in Key Biscayne in the quarterfinals before defeating Guillermo Cañas for the title in the finals.[52]

After winning his first Master Series title, Djokovic returned to Serbia to help his country enter the Davis Cup World Group[53] in a match against Georgia. Djokovic won a point by defeating Georgia's George Chanturia.[54] Later, he played in the Monte Carlo Masters, where he was defeated by David Ferrer in the third round, and at the Estoril Open, where he defeated Richard Gasquet in the final.[55] Djokovic then reached the quarterfinals of both the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, where he lost to Nadal, and the Hamburg Masters, where he was defeated by Carlos Moyà. At the French Open, Djokovic reached his first Grand Slam semi-final, losing to eventual champion Nadal.[56]

At Wimbledon, Djokovic won a five-hour quarterfinal against Marcos Baghdatis. In his semi-final match against Nadal, he was forced to retire with elbow problems in the third set, after winning the first and losing the second set.[57]

Djokovic playing against Robin Haase in the 1st round of the 2007 US Open

Djokovic's next tournament was the Rogers Cup in Montreal, and he defeated world No. 3 Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, world No. 2 Nadal in the semifinals, and world No. 1 Federer in the final. This was the first time a player had defeated the top three ranked players in one tournament since Boris Becker in 1994.[58] Djokovic was also only the second player, after Tomáš Berdych, to have defeated both Federer and Nadal since they became the top two players in the world. After this tournament, Björn Borg stated that Djokovic "is definitely a contender to win a Grand Slam (tournament)."[59] The following week at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Djokovic lost in the second round to Moyà in straight sets. Nevertheless, he went on to reach the final of the US Open, where he had five set points in the first set and two in the second set, but lost them all before losing the match in straight sets to the top-seeded Federer.[60]

Djokovic won his fifth title of the year at the BA-CA TennisTrophy in Vienna, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the final. His next tournament was the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid, where he lost to David Nalbandian in the semi-finals. Djokovic, assured of finishing the year as world No. 3, qualified for the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, but did not advance beyond the round robin matches. He received the Golden Badge award for the best athlete in Serbia, and the Olympic Committee of Serbia declared him the best athlete in the country.[61]

Djokovic played a key role in the 2007 play-off win over Australia by winning all his matches and helping promote the Serbia Davis Cup team to the 2008 World Group.[62] In Serbia's tie against Russia in Moscow in early 2008, Djokovic was sidelined due to influenza and was forced to miss his first singles match. He returned to win his doubles match, teaming with Nenad Zimonjić, before being forced to retire during his singles match with Nikolay Davydenko.[63]

2008: First Grand Slam titleEdit

Djokovic started the year by playing the Hopman Cup with fellow Serbian world No. 3 Jelena Janković. While he won all his round-robin matches, the team lost 1–2 in the final to the second-seeded American team of Serena Williams and Mardy Fish. At the Australian Open, Djokovic reached his second consecutive Grand Slam final without dropping a set, including a victory over three-time defending champion Federer in the semi-finals.[64] By reaching the semi-finals, Djokovic became the youngest player to have reached the semifinals in all four Grand Slams.[65] In the final, Djokovic defeated unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets to earn his first Grand Slam singles title.[66] This marked the first time since the 2005 Australian Open that a Grand Slam singles title was not won by Federer or Nadal.[67]

Djokovic at the 2008 Pacific Life Open

Djokovic's next tournament was the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, where he lost in the semifinals to Roddick. At the Pacific Life Masters in Indian Wells, Djokovic won his ninth career singles title, needing three sets to defeat American Mardy Fish in the final.[68] Djokovic won his tenth career singles title and fourth Master Series singles crown at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome after defeating Wawrinka in the final.[69] The following week at the Hamburg Masters, he lost to Nadal in the semi-finals. At the French Open, Djokovic was the third-seeded player behind Federer and Nadal. He lost to Nadal in the semi-finals in straight sets.[70]

On grass, Djokovic once again played Nadal, this time in the Artois Championships final in Queen's Club, where he lost in two sets. Djokovic entered Wimbledon seeded third but lost in the second round to Safin, ending a streak of five consecutive Grand Slams where he had reached at least the semi-finals.[71]

Winning the Masters Cup

Djokovic then failed to defend his 2007 singles title at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. He was eliminated in the quarter-finals by eighth-seeded Andy Murray. The following week at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Djokovic advanced to the final, beating Nadal. In the final, he again lost to Murray in straight sets. His next tournament was the 2008 Summer Olympics, his first Olympics. He and Nenad Zimonjić, seeded second in men's doubles, were eliminated in the first round by the Czech pairing of Martin Damm and Pavel Vízner. Seeded third in singles, Djokovic lost in the semifinals to Nadal. Djokovic then defeated James Blake, the loser of the other semi-final, in the bronze medal match.[72]

After the Olympics, Djokovic entered the US Open seeded third, where he defeated Roddick in the quarter-finals. To a smattering of boos in a post-match interview, Djokovic criticized Roddick for accusing him of making excessive use of the trainer during matches.[73] His run at the US Open ended in the semi-finals when he lost to Federer in four sets, in a rematch of the previous year's final. Djokovic went on to play four tournaments after the US Open. At the Thailand Open, he lost to Tsonga in straight sets. In November, Djokovic was the second seed at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. In his first round-robin match, he defeated Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets. He then beat Nikolay Davydenko in three sets, before losing his final round-robin match against Tsonga. Djokovic qualified for the semifinals, where he defeated Gilles Simon. In the final, Djokovic defeated Davydenko to win his first Tennis Masters Cup title.[74]

2009: Ten finals, five titles, emergence of the Big FourEdit

Djokovic started the year at the Brisbane International in Brisbane, where he was upset by Ernests Gulbis in the first round.[75] At the Medibank International in Sydney, he lost to Jarkko Nieminen in the semifinals.[76] As defending champion at the Australian Open, Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match with former world No. 1 Andy Roddick.[77]

After losing in the semifinals of the Open 13 tournament in Marseille to Tsonga, Djokovic won the singles title at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, defeating Ferrer to claim his twelfth career title.[78] The following week, Djokovic was the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, but lost to Roddick in the quarter-finals. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Djokovic beat Federer in the semi-finals, before losing to Murray in the final.[79]

Djokovic during the 2009 US Open

Djokovic reached the final of the next ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on clay, losing to Nadal in the final. At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, Djokovic failed to defend the title he had won the previous year, losing in the final.[80]

Djokovic was the top seed at his hometown tournament, the Serbia Open in Belgrade. He defeated first-time finalist Łukasz Kubot to win his second title of the year.[81] As third seed at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, Djokovic advanced to the semi-finals without dropping a set. There, he faced Nadal and lost despite holding three match points. The match, at 4 hours and 3 minutes, was the longest three-set singles match on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era.[82] At the French Open, he lost in the third round to German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Djokovic began his grass court season at the Gerry Weber Open where, after the withdrawal of Federer, he competed as the top seed. He advanced to the final, where he lost to German Tommy Haas.[83] Djokovic also lost to Haas in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.[84]

During the US Open Series, Djokovic made the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal before losing to Roddick. At the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Djokovic defeated third-ranked Nadal in the semi-finals before losing in the final to world No. 1 Federer.[85] At the US Open, Djokovic made the semifinals, having dropped only two sets, defeating Ivan Ljubičić, 15th seed Radek Štěpánek and 10th seed Fernando Verdasco before being defeated by Federer.[86]

At the China Open in Beijing, Djokovic defeated Victor Hănescu, Viktor Troicki, Verdasco, and Robin Söderling en route to the final, where he defeated Marin Čilić in straight sets to win his third title of the year.[87] Djokovic then lost in the semi-finals of the inaugural Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 to Davydenko. At the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Djokovic defeated Jan Hernych to make it to the quarter-finals,[88] where he recovered from a deficit to defeat Wawrinka before going on to win his semi-final against Štěpánek. In the final, he defeated home favourite and three-time defending champion Federer to win his fourth title of the year.[89] At the last Masters 1000 event of the year at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, Djokovic won his first Masters 1000 title of the year by defeating Nadal in the semi-finals,[90] before outlasting Gaël Monfils in the final.[91]

Coming into the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London as the defending champion, Djokovic defeated Davydenko in his first round-robin match[92] before losing his second match to Söderling.[93] Despite victory over Nadal in his third round-robin match, Djokovic failed to make the semi-finals.[94] Djokovic ended the year as the world No. 3 for the third consecutive year, having played 97 matches, the most of any player on the ATP World Tour, with a 78–19 win-loss record. In addition to leading the ATP World Tour in match wins, he reached a career best ten finals, winning five titles. Djokovic also played a large role in promoting Serbia to the 2009 World Group. On 6–8 March 2010, he played a key role in bringing Serbia to the World Group quarter-finals for the first time in its independent history, winning both singles matches in the home tie against the United States against Sam Querrey and John Isner.[95]

2010: Davis Cup titleEdit

Djokovic started his year by playing in the AAMI Classic, an exhibition event. In his first match, he defeated Haas before losing to Fernando Verdasco in his second.[96] At the 2010 Australian Open, Djokovic lost a five-setter to Tsonga in the quarter-finals.[97] Despite the loss, he attained a career-high ranking of world No. 2 and went on to reach the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, where he lost to Youzhny. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Djokovic reached the final, this time defeating Youzhny to win his first title of the year.[98]

Djokovic then took part in Serbia's Davis Cup tie against the United States on clay in Belgrade and helped his country reach its first quarter-final in the Davis Cup with a 3–2 victory, defeating Querrey and Isner. At the Indian Wells Masters, Djokovic lost in the fourth round to Ljubičić. At the Miami Masters, he lost in his opening match to Olivier Rochus. Djokovic then announced that he had ceased working with Todd Martin as his coach.[99]

In his first clay-court tournament of the year at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, top-seeded Djokovic reached the semi-finals with wins over Wawrinka and David Nalbandian before losing to Verdasco. Djokovic again lost to Verdasco at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, this time in the quarter-finals.[100] As the defending champion at his hometown event, the Serbia Open in Belgrade, he withdrew in the quarter-finals while trailing Filip Krajinović.[101]

Djokovic entered the French Open seeded third. He defeated Evgeny Korolev, Kei Nishikori, Victor Hănescu, and Robby Ginepri en route to the quarter-finals, where he lost to Jürgen Melzer in five sets.[102] Djokovic entered Wimbledon as the third seed, defeating Rochus, Taylor Dent, Albert Montañés, Lleyton Hewitt, and Yen-Hsun Lu en route to the semi-finals, which he lost to Tomáš Berdych in straight sets.

Djokovic then competed at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he lost to Federer in the semifinals. Djokovic also competed in doubles with Nadal in a one-time, high-profile partnership. This hadn't happened since 1976, when Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe as world No. 1 and No. 2 paired together as a doubles team.[103] They lost in the first round to Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil. Djokovic then lost to Roddick in the quarter-finals of the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati.

Djokovic at the 2010 US Open

As the third seed at the US Open, Djokovic came very close to losing in his opening round against Viktor Troicki in extreme heat. He then defeated Philipp Petzschner, James Blake, Mardy Fish, and number 17 seed Gaël Monfils, all in straight sets, to reach the US Open semi-finals for the fourth consecutive year. There, he defeated Federer in five sets after saving two match points with forehand winners while serving to stay in the match at 4–5 in the 5th set. It was Djokovic's first victory over Federer at the US Open in four attempts, and his first victory over Federer in a Major since the 2008 Australian Open. Djokovic went on to lose to Nadal in the final, a match that saw Nadal complete his career Grand Slam.[104]

After helping Serbia defeat the Czech Republic 3–2 to make it to the Davis Cup final, Djokovic competed at the China Open as the top seed and defending champion. He won the title for the second successive year, after defeating Maoxin Gong, Mardy Fish (walkover), Gilles Simon, and John Isner en route to the final. Djokovic then defeated Ferrer in the final. At the Shanghai Masters, Djokovic made a semi-final appearance, losing to Federer. Djokovic played his final tournament of the year at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic was placed in Group A along with Nadal, Berdych, and Roddick. Djokovic won his first round-robin match against Berdych. He next lost to Nadal. He defeated Roddick in his final round-robin match and advanced to the semi-finals, where he lost to Federer in two sets.

Djokovic went on to win his two singles rubbers in Serbia's Davis Cup finals victory over France. This started a long unbeaten run that went on into 2011. Djokovic finished the year ranked world No. 3, his fourth successive finish at this position. He was awarded the title "Serbian Sportsman of the year" by the Olympic Committee of Serbia[105] and "Serbian Athlete of the year" by DSL Sport.[106]

Serbia progressed to the Davis Cup final, following the victories over Croatia (4–1) and the Czech Republic (3–2). Serbia came from 1–2 down to defeat France in the final tie 3–2 in Belgrade to win the nation's first Davis Cup Championship. In the final, Djokovic scored two singles points for Serbia, defeating Gilles Simon and Gaël Monfils.[107] He was the backbone of the Serbian squad, going 7–0 in singles rubbers to lead the nation to the title, although the honour of winning the deciding rubber in the final went to compatriot Viktor Troicki.

2011: Ascent to No. 1Edit

Novak Djokovic celebrates his 2011 Wimbledon semi-final win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Victory meant that Djokovic successfully clinched the ATP world No. 1 Ranking for the first time in his career on 1 July 2011. He also reached his first ever Wimbledon final, which he eventually won.
Djokovic celebrates upon defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and clinching the world No. 1 ranking following his victory in the semi-finals of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

Djokovic won ten tournaments in 2011,[28] including Grand Slam tournament victories at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.[28] Djokovic also captured a record-breaking five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles,[28][108] and set a new record for the most prize money won in a single season on the ATP World Tour (12.0 million dollars).[28] His level dropped at season's end beginning with a back injury and ended with a poor showing at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic finished the season with a 70–6 record and a year-end ranking of world No. 1.

Pete Sampras declared Djokovic's 2011 season as the best he has ever seen in his lifetime, calling it "one of the best achievements in all of sports."[109] Boris Becker called Djokovic's season "one of the very best years in tennis of all time," adding that it "may not be the best statistically, but he's beaten Federer, he's beaten Nadal, he's beaten everybody that came around to challenge him in the biggest tournaments in the world."[110] Rafael Nadal, who lost to Djokovic in six finals on three different surfaces, described Djokovic's performances as "probably the highest level of tennis that I ever saw."[111] Djokovic was named 2011 ITF World Champion.[112] He also received the Golden Bagel Award by winning 13 sets with the result of 6–0 during the season.[113]

In the semi-finals of the 2011 Davis Cup, Djokovic played a crucial rubber match for Serbia against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, where he retired while trailing, after reaggravating a back injury sustained during the US Open tournament. This secured Argentina's place in the final. This marked Djokovic's third loss of his 2011 season, and his second retirement.[114]

2012: Reclaiming the No. 1 spotEdit

Djokovic at 2012 US Open

Djokovic began his season by winning the 2012 Australian Open. He won his first four rounds against Paolo Lorenzi,[115] Santiago Giraldo, Nicolas Mahut and Lleyton Hewitt, respectively. In the quarter-finals he defeated David Ferrer in three sets. In the semi-final, Djokovic beat Murray in five sets after 4 hours and 50 minutes, coming back from a two-sets-to-one deficit and fending off break points at 5-all in the fifth set.[116] In the final, Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets, coming from a break down in the final set to win 7–5. At 5 hours and 53 minutes, the match was the longest final in Open Era Grand Slam history, as well as the longest match in Australian Open history, surpassing the 5-hour and 14-minute 2009 semi-final between Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.[117]

Djokovic was beaten by John Isner in the semi-finals at Indian Wells. He successfully defended his title in Miami. In the Monte Carlo final, he lost in straight sets to Nadal, unable to prevent Nadal from earning his record-breaking eighth consecutive title there. Djokovic also lost in straight sets to Nadal at the Rome Masters 2012 final.[118]

Djokovic reached his maiden French Open final in 2012 by defeating Federer,[119] reaching the finals of all four Grand Slams consecutively. Djokovic had the chance to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once, having won last year's Wimbledon and US Open titles as well as this year's Australian Open, but was beaten by Nadal in the final in four sets.[120][121] Following the French Open, Djokovic was unsuccessful in defending his Wimbledon title from the prior year, losing to Roger Federer in four sets in the semifinals.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Djokovic was chosen as the flag bearer for Serbia.[122] On 2 August 2012, Djokovic defeated French fifth seed Tsonga and advanced to the semi-finals of Olympics, where he was beaten by Murray in straight sets.[123] In the bronze medal match he lost to Del Potro, finishing 4th.[124] He successively defended his Rogers Cup title, dropping just a single set to Tommy Haas. Following the Rogers Cup, Djokovic would make the finals of the Cincinnati Masters but lost to Roger Federer in straight sets.[125]

At the US Open on 9 September, Djokovic reached his third consecutive final at Flushing Meadows by beating fourth-seeded David Ferrer in a match suspended a day earlier due to rain.[126][127] He then lost the final to Murray in five sets.[128] Djokovic went on to defend his China Open title, defeating Tsonga in straight sets.[129] The following week he won the Shanghai Masters by defeating Murray in the final.[130] With Federer's withdrawal from the Paris Masters, Djokovic was guaranteed to regain his world No. 1 ranking.[131] On 12 November 2012, Djokovic won the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals by defeating Federer in the final.[132][133][134] Because of his achievements in the 2012 season, Djokovic was named the 2012 ITF World Champion in men's singles by the International Tennis Federation.[135]

2013: Sixth Grand Slam title & 100 weeks at No.1Edit

Djokovic began the 2013 season by defeating Murray in the final of the 2013 Australian Open to win a record third consecutive Australian Open trophy and the sixth Grand Slam of his career.[136] A week later, he participated in a Davis Cup match against Belgium, where he defeated Olivier Rochus in straight sets to give the Serbian team a 2–0 lead.[137]

Djokovic celebrates after defeating Guido Pella at the French Open.

On 2 March 2013, Djokovic won the thirty-sixth professional single's title of his career by defeating Tomáš Berdych in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.[138] Another solid week of tennis saw Djokovic reach the semi-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, before losing to del Potro, bringing an end to his twenty-two match winning streak.[139] The following week, Djokovic went into the Miami Masters as defending champion, but lost in the fourth round to Tommy Haas in straight sets.[140]

In April, Djokovic played for Serbia as the country faced the United States in the Davis Cup quarter-finals. Djokovic clinched the tie for his team by defeating John Isner and Sam Querrey.[141][142] Later that month, he defeated eight-time champion Nadal in straight sets in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to clinch his first title in Monte Carlo.[143] In May, he was defeated by Grigor Dimitrov in three sets in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid.[144] The following week, he lost to Berdych at the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters.[145]

Djokovic began his French Open campaign with a straight three sets win over David Goffin in the first round and also defeated Guido Pella in straight sets in the second round. In the third round, Djokovic defeated Dimitrov in three sets.[146] In the fourth round he came back from a set down and defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in four sets[147] and in the process he had reached a 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. Djokovic then lost to Nadal in the semi-final in five sets.[148]

In the finals of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, Djokovic lost to Murray in straight sets. At the Rogers Cup, he lost to Nadal in the semi-final in three sets. Later, Djokovic lost to Isner in the quarter-finals in Cincinnati. Djokovic went on to reach the US Open final, where he met Nadal for the 37th time in his career (a new open era record). He went on to lose in four sets.[149] In early October, Djokovic collected his fourth Beijing title by defeating Nadal in the final in straight sets. He also collected his second Shanghai Rolex Masters title, extending his winning streak to 20–0 over the last 2 seasons at the hard court Asian swing of the tour.[150] Djokovic won his 16 Masters 1000 title in Paris at the end of the season, beating David Ferrer in the final.[151] At the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals Djokovic retained the trophy, beating Nadal in straight sets.[152]

2014Edit

Djokovic began the year with a warmup tournament win, the 2013 Mubadala World Tennis Championship. At the 2014 Australian Open, he won his first four matches in straight sets, against Lukáš Lacko, Leonardo Mayer, Denis Istomin and number 15 seed Fabio Fognini respectively. He met Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the tournament, the second consecutive year the two had met at the event. Despite coming back from two sets to one down, Djokovic fell 9–7 in the fifth set, ending his 25–match winning streak in Melbourne, as well as his streak of 14 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.[153] The week of 27 January marked the first time since 2011 that Djokovic has not been a Grand Slam title holder.

Djokovic also would play in the 2014 Dubai Tennis Championships but lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in the semifinals. However, Djokovic would avenge his loss to Federer, winning his third BNP Paribas Open title, beating Federer in the final 3-6, 6-3, 7-63. Continuing his good run, he beat World no.1 Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Sony Open Tennis in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.[154] Novak suffering from a potential wrist injury which he stated aggravated him throughout the 2014 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters reached the semifinals before losing to Federer in straight sets.

RivalriesEdit

Djokovic vs. NadalEdit

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal during the 2011 US Open final

Djokovic and Nadal have met 40 times, an Open Era record for head-to-head meetings between players.[155] with Nadal having a 22–18 advantage.[156] Nadal leads on grass 2–1 and clay 13–3, but Djokovic leads on hard courts 14–7.[156] This rivalry is listed as the third greatest rivalry in the last decade by ATPworldtour.com.[157] Djokovic is the first player to have at least ten match wins against Nadal and the only person to defeat Nadal seven times consecutively.[158] The two share the record for the longest Australian Open and Grand Slam final match ever played (5 hours and 53 minutes), which was the 2012 Australian Open final.[159]

In the 2011 Wimbledon final, Djokovic won in four sets, which was his first victory over Nadal in a Major.[160] By doing so, he became the only person other than Federer to defeat Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament final. Djokovic also defeated Nadal in the 2011 US Open Final to capture his third major title of the year and fourth overall. By beating Nadal, Djokovic became the second player to defeat Nadal in more than one Grand Slam final (the other being Federer), and the only player to beat Nadal in a Slam final on a surface other than grass. In 2012, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final which made Nadal the first player to lose in three consecutive Grand Slam finals.

At the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April, Nadal finally beat Djokovic for the first time since November 2010. They had met in seven finals from January 2011 to January 2012, all of which Djokovic won. In the final at Monte Carlo, an in-form Nadal crushed Djokovic. Nadal again defeated Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters tournament.

At the 2012 French Open, Djokovic faced Nadal in the final. For the second time in tennis history, two opposing tennis players played four consecutive Grand Slams Finals against each other. They also became the only players in history, except for Venus and Serena Williams, to have faced the same opponent in the finals of each of the four different Grand Slam events. Nadal eventually won in four sets after multiple rain delays that forced the final to be concluded on the following Monday afternoon.

In 2013, Djokovic defeated Nadal in straight sets in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to clinch his first title in Monte Carlo. This was his third clay win against Nadal. At the 2013 French Open semifinal, Nadal defeated Djokovic to up his record to 20–15 against Djokovic, and again at the 2013 Rogers Cup semi-final. On 9 September 2013, Djokovic lost to Nadal in the 2013 US Open finals in four sets.[161]

Djokovic vs. FedererEdit

Djokovic and Federer have met 34 times, with Federer leading 18–16. They split 13–13 on hard court and 3–4 on clay, and Federer won their only match on grass. Djokovic is the only player other than Nadal who has defeated Federer in consecutive Grand Slam tournament matches.[14] Federer ended Djokovic's 41-match winning start to the 2011 season at the 2011 French Open semi-finals which many consider to be a classic match.[162] However, he lost to Djokovic in the following year in straight sets.[163] Djokovic played Federer in his first Major final at the 2007 US Open and lost in three sets.[164]

Djokovic has the second-most wins against Federer (after Nadal). The two have met three times in Australian Open (in 2007, 2008, and 2011) which Federer won in straight sets in 2007 and Djokovic won in straight sets in the other 2. The two have met five years in a row at the US Open with Federer triumphant in their first three encounters while their last two meetings (in 2010 and 2011) were five-set matches in which Djokovic saved two match points before going on to win. On 6 July 2012, Djokovic lost to Federer in the Wimbledon semifinal.[165]

Djokovic vs. MurrayEdit

Djokovic and Andy Murray have met 20 times with Djokovic leading 12–8.[166] Djokovic leads 2–0 on clay, 10–6 on hard courts, and Murray leads 2–0 on grass. The two are almost exactly the same age, with Murray being only a week older than Djokovic. They went to training camp together, and Murray won the first match they ever played as teenagers. The pair have met 8 times in finals, winning 4 times each. Five of the finals were ATP Masters 1000 finals, with Murray winning the first three in straight sets, but Djokovic defeated Murray in the most recent 2 finals: first in straight sets, second in three sets. They have met in four Grand Slam Finals: The 2011 Australian Open, the 2012 US Open,[167] the 2013 Australian Open and the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Djokovic has won in Australia twice,[168] but it was Murray that emerged as the victor at the American Grand Slam and Wimbledon.

Djokovic and Murray also played a nearly five-hour long semifinal match in the 2012 Australian Open, which Djokovic won 7–5 in the fifth set after Murray led 2 sets to 1. Murray and Djokovic met again in 2012 at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with Murray winning in straight sets. Djokovic won their three most recent meetings, including a three set thriller at the final of the Shanghai Masters, in which Murray held five championship point opportunities in the second set; however, Djokovic saved each of them, forcing a deciding set.[169] He eventually prevailed to win his first Shanghai Masters title, ending Murray's 12–0 winning streak at the event. The most recent meeting between the two was in the final of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships on 7 July 2013, second seed Murray defeated Djokovic in straight sets, the first time since 2010 that Djokovic had failed to win a set in a Grand Slam match.

Djokovic vs. TsongaEdit

Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have met 16 times with Djokovic leading 11–5.[170][171] Their first meeting was in the final of the 2008 Australian Open; Djokovic and Tsonga had defeated the top two players, Roger Federer[172] and Rafael Nadal[173] in their respective semi-finals in straight sets. Djokovic won this match in 4 sets to win his first Grand Slam singles title.[174] Tsonga then won their next four meetings, before Djokovic stopped the streak at Miami in 2009.

Their next meeting at a Grand Slam was again at the Australian Open, in the 2010 quarter-finals, exactly two years to the day since Djokovic defeated Tsonga to win his first Grand Slam singles title. However, this time it was Tsonga who prevailed, winning in five sets after Djokovic fell ill during the match.[175] It wouldn't be until another year-and-a-half until they met again, with the stakes even higher – in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2011, with the winner advancing to his first Wimbledon final. It was their first meeting on grass, and Djokovic prevailed in four sets to advance to his first Wimbledon final,[176] and in the process ending the seven-and-a-half-year reign of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings. At the 2012 French Open, Djokovic and Tsonga met again in an important quarter-finals match, with Djokovic prevailing in five sets after more than four hours of play.[177]

They met again two months later at the Olympics, with Djokovic winning in straight sets in the quarter-finals.[178] They met in the final of the 2012 China Open, with Djokovic once again victorious in straight sets.[179] The pair were drawn in the same pool for the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic defeated Tsonga in his first (of three) round robin matches.[180] It was Djokovic's fifth win over Tsonga in 2012.

Their most recent meeting was in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters tournament in 2013. Djokovic won in straight sets.[181]

Djokovic vs. WawrinkaEdit

In this intriguing matchup, Djokovic leads 15–3, but the two have contested numerous entertaining matches, including 4 five-setters.[182] Wawrinka and Djokovic have played 3 Grand Slam epics; at the 2013 Australian Open fourth round, which Djokovic won 12–10 in a fifth set; at the 2013 US Open semi-finals, which Djokovic won 6–4 in a fifth set; and at the 2014 Australian Open quarters, which Wawrinka won 9–7 in a close fifth set. Wawrinka's win broke Djokovic's impressive run of 14 consecutive semi-finals at Grand Slam play, ended a 28 match winning streak and prevented Djokovic from capturing a record fifth Aussie Open crown.[183]

Place among the all-time greatsEdit

Andre Agassi considers that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic "may very well be the greatest three players to ever play tennis".[10] Rod Laver chose Djokovic as number 6 in his top ten male players of the Open Era.[7] International Business Times puts him in the seventh place in the men's greatest players of all time list [184] He is "probably a top eight player in tennis history" according to Tim Henman.[8]

Djokovic is widely considered to be the greatest returner in the history of the sport,[185][186][187] an accolade given to him even by Andre Agassi, who was considered to be the best returner ever. Tennis pundits have classified many of Djokovic's matches as some of the greatest matches ever, with the 2012 Australian Open final being considered the greatest match ever seen,[188] as a testament to his greatness as a tennis player. Long time analysts claim that the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry ranks as the best rivalry in tennis history primarily because of the quality of matches they produce.[189]

Some of the greatest tennis matches in history as classified by the ATP:

  • 2009 Mutua Madrid Masters final, Nadal def Djokovic 3-6 7-6 7-6 after 4:03
  • 2010 US Open semifinal, Djokovic def Federer 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5 after 3:44
  • 2011 French Open semifinal, Federer def Djokovic 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 after 3:39
  • 2011 US Open semifinal, Djokovic def Federer 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5 after 3:51
  • 2012 Australian Open final, Djokovic def Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5 after 5:53
  • 2013 French Open semifinal, Nadal def Djokovic 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 9-7 after 4:37
  • 2013 Wimbledon semifinal, Djokovic def Del Potro 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-7 6-3 after 4:43
  • 2013 US Open final, Nadal def Djokovic 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 after 3:21

Playing style and equipmentEdit

Djokovic serving at the 2011 Australian Open.

Djokovic is an all-court player with emphasis on aggressive baseline play.[190] His groundstrokes from both wings are consistent, deep, and penetrating. His backhand is widely regarded as the best in today's game. His best shot is his backhand down the line, with great pace and precision. He is also known as one of the greatest movers on the court with superior agility, court coverage and defensive ability, which allows him to hit winners from seemingly defensive positions. After great technical difficulties during the 2009 season (coinciding with his switch to the Head racket series), his serve is one of his major weapons again, winning him many free points; his first serve is typically hit flat, while he prefers to slice and kick his second serves wide.[190]

Djokovic's return of serve is a powerful weapon for him, with which he can be both offensive and defensive. Djokovic is rarely aced because of his flexibility, length and balance. Djokovic is highly efficient off both the forehand and backhand return, often getting the return in play deep with pace, neutralizing the advantage the server usually has in a point. John McEnroe considers Djokovic to be the greatest returner of serve in the history of the men's game. Occasionally, Djokovic employs a well-disguised backhand underspin drop shot and sliced backhand. His drop shots still tend to be a drawback when hit under pressure and without proper preparation.[191]

Djokovic commented on the modern style of play, including his own, in interview with Jim Courier after his semifinal win against Andy Murray in the 2012 Australian Open tournament:[192]

I had a big privilege and honour to meet personally today Mr. Laver, and he is one of the biggest, and greatest players ever to play the game, thank you for staying this late, sir, thank you ... even though it would actually be better if we played a couple times serve and volley, but we don't know to play ... we are mostly around here [points to the area near the baseline], we are running, you know, around the baseline ...

Entering the pro circuit, Djokovic used Wilson rackets, continuing so until the end of 2008. At that time, he switched to Head rackets, using a custom paint job of the Head YouTek Speed Pro racquet. Starting with 2011 Australian Open, he began using Head's YouTek IG Speed MP 18/20. Djokovic uses a hybrid of Head Natural Gut (gauge 16) in the mains and Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough (gauge 16L) in the crosses. He also uses Head Synthetic Leather Grip as a replacement grip.[193] In 2012, Djokovic appeared in a television commercial with Maria Sharapova promoting the use of Head rackets for many techniques such as golf, ten-pin bowling and unsuccessfully attempting the Roger Federer shot trick.[194]

After his 2011 victory in Montreal, tennis coach Nick Bollettieri stated that Djokovic is the most "complete" player of all time.[195] He has the backhand, forehand, serve, second serve, movement, mentality, and can play equally well on any surface. In assessing his 2011 season, Jimmy Connors said that Djokovic gives his opponents problems by playing "a little bit old-school, taking the ball earlier, catching the ball on the rise, (and) driving the ball flat." Connors adds that a lot of the topspin that Djokovic's opponents drive at him comes right into his zone, thus his ability to turn defense into offense well.[196]

Coaching and personal teamEdit

From fall 2005 until June 2006, Djokovic was coached by Riccardo Piatti who divided his time between the 18-year-old and Ivan Ljubičić. Player and coach reportedly parted ways over the latter's refusal to work full-time with Djokovic.[197]

Since June 2006, Djokovic has been coached by Slovakian former professional tennis player Marián Vajda. They met for the first time during that year's French Open, after which Vajda got hired to be the 19-year-old's coach. On occasion Djokovic employed additional coaches on part-time basis: in 2007, during the spring hardcourt season, he worked with Australian doubles ace Mark Woodforde with specific emphasis on volleys and net play while from August 2009 until April 2010 American Todd Martin joined the coaching team, a period marked by his ill-fated attempt to change Djokovic's serve motion.[198]

Since early 2007, Djokovic has been working with physiotherapist Miljan Amanović who was previously employed by Red Star Belgrade and NBA player Vladimir Radmanović.[199]

From the fall 2006, Djokovic had an Israeli fitness coach Ronen Bega, but the two parted ways during spring 2009[200] since Djokovic decided to make a change after identifying his conditioning as a weakness in his game following continual losses to Nadal.[201] In April 2009, ahead of the Rome Masters, Djokovic hired Austrian Gebhard Phil-Gritsch (formerly worked with Thomas Muster) to join the team in fitness coach capacity.[202][203]

In July 2010, before the Davis Cup clash away at Croatia, Djokovic made another addition to his team – nutritionist Igor Četojević who additionally focuses on Chinese medicine and does acupuncture.[204] He discovered the tennis player suffers from gluten intolerance and cannot eat gluten, purging it from his diet. It appeared to have worked as Djokovic began feeling stronger, quicker, and much more fit. After Djokovic's Wimbledon win in July 2011, Četojević left the team.[205]

After retiring from professional tennis in August 2011, Serbian player Dušan Vemić joined Djokovic's team as a hitting partner for Novak.[206]

6-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Boris Becker then signed on with Djokovic, first coaching him at the 2014 Australian Open.

Sponsorships and business venturesEdit

Djokovic endorses Serbian telecommunications company Telekom Srbija and German nutritional supplement brand FitLine.[207]

Since turning professional in 2003, Djokovic wore Adidas clothing and footwear. At the end of 2009, Djokovic signed a 10-year deal with the Italian clothing company Sergio Tacchini after Adidas refused to extend his clothing contract (choosing instead to sign Andy Murray).[208] Since Sergio Tacchini doesn't make shoes, he continued with Adidas as his choice of footwear. Djokovic's sponsorship contract with Tacchini was incentive heavy, and due to Djokovic's disproportionate success and dominance in 2011, the company fell behind on payments and ended the sponsorship contract.[209] From 2011, Djokovic began to wear custom Red and Blue Adidas Barricade 6.0's shoes, referring to the colours of the Serbian national flag. On 23 May 2012, Uniqlo has appointed Djokovic as its global brand ambassador. The five-year partnership, will see Djokovic promoting the Uniqlo brand where Djokovic debut his newly designed Uniqlo match wear to spectators in Paris' Roland-Garros French Open Tennis Tournament and to a worldwide TV audience on 27 May.

Djokovic did television commercial spots and print ads for supermarket chain Idea, the Serbian arm of Croatian supermarket retailer Konzum as well as for rival Serbian supermarket chain DIS Trgovina.

In August 2011, Djokovic became the brand ambassador of Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet.[210] Less than a month later, Djokovic signed a sponsorship deal with German car company Mercedes-Benz.[211] In March 2012, Djokovic was announced by Bombardier Aerospace as its latest Learjet brand ambassador, thus joining the likes of actor and pilot John Travolta, architect Frank Gehry, maestro Valery Gergiev, and classical pianist Lang Lang.[212]

Since 2004, the business end of Djokovic's career has been handled by Israeli managers Amit Naor (former pro tennis player turned sports agent) and Allon Khakshouri, the duo that also had Marat Safin and Dinara Safina as their clients. In June 2008, after the duo entered into partnership with CAA Sports, the sports division of Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, meaning that the famous company started representing tennis players for the first time,[213] Djokovic formally signed with CAA Sports.[214] After Djokovic's contract with CAA Sports expired during summer 2012, he decided to switch representation, announcing IMG Worldwide as his new representatives in December 2012.[215]

InvestmentsEdit

In 2005, as Djokovic moved up the tennis rankings, he ventured into the business world. His family founded a legal entity in Serbia named Family Sport. Registered as a limited liability company, its initial focus was the restaurant business. The company's day-to-day operations are mostly handled by Novak's father Srdjan and uncle Goran expanded its activities into real estate, sports/entertainment event organization, and sports apparel distribution.[216]

The company opened theme cafés named Novak Café, as well as Novak Café & Restaurant in the Belgrade's municipality of Novi Beograd.

In February 2008, the company reached an agreement with local authorities in the city of Kragujevac about jointly entering into a real estate development deal that was to include 4 hectares of city-owned land at Veliki Park being developed into a tennis center with 14 courts. But by 2010 the company pulled out of these plans.[217][218]

In March 2008, Family Sport won a municipal authority-organized tender in Novi Beograd by submitting an €11 million bid for the 3.8 hectares of land located in Ivan Ribar neighbourhood;[219] with the ambitious plan to build a big tennis center there.[220][221][222] As of spring 2013, construction is yet to commence.

In 2009, the company managed to buy an ATP tournament known as the Dutch Open and bring it to Serbia where it became – Serbia Open. With the help of Belgrade city authorities, the tournament's inaugural edition was held during May 2009 at the city-owned 'Milan Gale Muškatirović' courts, located at an attractive spot in Dorćol neighbourhood.[223] In 2012, after four tournament editions, the company pulled out of the venture and Serbia Open ceased to exist.

On Monday, 4 July 2011, one day after Djokovic won Wimbledon, Family Sport organized the homecoming reception in front of the National Assembly building with more than 80,000 people gathering to greet him.[224][225]

It was announced in late 2012 that Djokovic had purchased the entire existing 2013 production of donkey cheese, which is produced by a single farm in Serbia. This was done to ensure a reliable supply for his chain of restaurants in Serbia.[226]

In popular cultureEdit

Owing to his extroverted personality, fluency in several languages, and willingness to go along with comedic concepts, Djokovic became a fixture on entertainment-based TV talk shows around the globe immediately upon achieving a measure of prominence via results on the tennis court.[227][228] After winning the Australian Open, his first major, in early 2008, Djokovic appeared on the American late-night programme The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[229][230] In May 2008, he was a special guest during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Belgrade that year. He threw a big tennis ball into the crowd, announcing the start of the voting and together with one of the show's co-presenters Željko Joksimović, Djokovic sang a song about Belgrade.[231]

Throughout late April and early May 2009, during ATP Master Series tournaments in Rome and Madrid, respectively, the Serb was a guest on the Fiorello Show hosted by Italian comedian Rosario Fiorello[232] followed by an appearance on Pablo Motos' show El Hormiguero.[233] During the week off, in-between the two tournaments, Djokovic came home to Belgrade where he was interviewed by Nenad Lj. Stefanović on the RTS' hour-long, one-on-one Serbian talk programme Svedok.[234] In 2009, and 2010, Djokovic won an Oscar of Popularity for the most popular male athlete in Serbia.[235]

Djokovic is also featured in the music video for the song "Hello" by Martin Solveig and Dragonette. The video, filmed at Stade Roland Garros, shows Solveig facing off against Bob Sinclar, another DJ, in a tennis match. When the referee calls a crucial ball "Out", Djokovic enters the arena and convinces the referee otherwise.[236] In 2010, the Serbian blues-rock band Zona B recorded the song "The Joker", dedicating it to Djokovic.[237][238]

Djokovic's international television appearances particularly intensified during his successful 2011 season. After winning Wimbledon and reaching the number one spot on the ATP list, he again appeared on Leno's Tonight Show as well as on Conan O'Brien's show on TBS.[239] Djokovic's dramatic win at the US Open was followed by another television blitz including spots on Live with Regis and Kelly, CBS' The Early Show, NBC's Today as well as a walk-on appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[240] On 25 June 2011, its seventieth Congress in Chicago, all the members unanimously awarded Djokovic the Order of Serbian National Defense in America I class, the highest decoration of the SND. The order was given to him because of his merits in the international sport scene and his contributions to the reputation of Serbs and Serbia around the world.[241] In mid-November 2011, he made a triumphant return to Rai 1's Il più grande spettacolo dopo il weekend, hosted by Fiorello.[242] In late November during the ATP World Tour Finals in London he was a guest on David Frost's interview programme Frost Over The World on Al Jazeera English.[243]

He was voted the 19th most influential man on AskMen.com's Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2011.[244] On invitation from film producer Avi Lerner, Djokovic became part of the high-budget Hollywood movie production The Expendables 2 in a cameo playing himself,[245] which he shot on 29 November 2011 in a warehouse in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.[246] However, his bit part was cut out of the final version of the movie.[247] He appeared on the cover of Italian GQ's March 2012 issue.[248] Also, in March he was profiled on the CBS show 60 Minutes by their correspondent Bob Simon. He was named amongst the 100 most influential people of 2012 by TIME magazine.[249] On 26 October 2012, he appeared on Canal+'s Le Grand Journal.[250]

Djokovic is also very popular on video sharing sites due to his famous imitations of other tennis players such as Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic.[251]

Career statisticsEdit

From the 2010 Davis Cup finals to the 2011 French Open, Djokovic had a 43-match win streak, placing him behind Guillermo Vilas (46 matches in 1977) and Ivan Lendl (44 matches in 1981/1982) on the all-time list.[252][253] He won 41 straight matches from the start of 2011 until the French Open semi-finals,[253] second only to John McEnroe's record (he started 42–0 in 1984).[254]

Novak Djokovic is one of only four players (besides David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal) to beat Roger Federer three times in one calendar year, and one of only two players (Juan Martin Del Potro being the other) to beat both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam in consecutive matches. He is the only player who can claim to have beaten both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament on 3 different occasions (Montreal 2007, Indian Wells 2011, US Open 2011).[255]

Djokovic is also the youngest player in the Open Era to defeat the top three players in succession and he achieved this when he defeated world number three Andy Roddick, world number two Nadal, and World number one Federer in the 2007 Rogers Cup. He is one of only two players to have defeated Federer at the semifinal stage or later on more than one occasion in Grand Slam tournaments, and also at consecutive tournaments (the other being Nadal). He is also the only player to beat Federer in straight sets in a Grand Slam on more than one occasion, something which Djokovic has done three times.

His five Masters titles in 2011 are a season record, tied with Nadal in 2013.[256]

Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the 2014 Australian Open.

Tournament 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 1R 1R 4R W QF QF W W W QF 4 / 10 43–6 88.63
French Open 2R QF SF SF 3R QF SF F SF 0 / 9 36–9 80.00
Wimbledon 3R 4R SF 2R QF SF W SF F 1 / 9 38–8 82.61
US Open 3R 3R F SF SF F W F F 1 / 9 45–8 84.91
Win–Loss 5–4 9–4 19–4 18–3 15–4 19–4 26–1 24–3 24–3 4–1 6 / 37 162–31 84.04
Finals: 12 (6 titles, 6 runners-up)
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2007 US Open (1) Hard Switzerland Roger Federer 6–7(4–7), 6–7(2–7), 4–6
Winner 2008 Australian Open (1) Hard France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(7–2)
Runner-up 2010 US Open (2) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 4–6, 7–5, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 2011 Australian Open (2) Hard United Kingdom Andy Murray 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 2011 Wimbledon (1) Grass Spain Rafael Nadal 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3
Winner 2011 US Open (1) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 6–2, 6–4, 6–7(3–7), 6–1
Winner 2012 Australian Open (3) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5
Runner-up 2012 French Open (1) Clay Spain Rafael Nadal 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 5–7
Runner-up 2012 US Open (3) Hard United Kingdom Andy Murray 6–7(10–12), 5–7, 6–2, 6–3, 2–6
Winner 2013 Australian Open (4) Hard United Kingdom Andy Murray 6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–3), 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2013 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Andy Murray 4–6, 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 2013 US Open (4) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 2–6, 6–3, 4–6, 1–6

Year–End Championships performance timelineEdit

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SR W–L Win %
Year-End Championship Tournaments
YEC A A A A RR W RR SF RR W W 3 / 7 19–9 67.86
Finals: 3 (3 titles)
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 2008 Shanghai Hard (i) Russia Nikolay Davydenko 6–1, 7–5
Winner 2012 London Hard (i) Switzerland Roger Federer 7–6(8–6), 7–5
Winner 2013 London Hard (i) Spain Rafael Nadal 6–3, 6–4

RecordsEdit

  • These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis and in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series since 1990.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
  • Records in italics are currently active streaks.

Awards and honoursEdit

List of awardsEdit

Orders and special awardsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ See[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
  2. ^ The final took 5 hours, 53 minutes to complete.[257]
  3. ^ The final took 4 hours, 54 minutes to complete.[259]
  4. ^ The match took 4 hours, 3 minutes to complete.[260]
  5. ^ The match took 4 hours, 3 minutes to complete.[260]
  6. ^ Djokovic proceeded to defeat Nadal at the 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open, where their rankings were by then reversed.
  7. ^ US Open semifinal def. Roger Federer 6–7(7), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 7–5
  8. ^ Australian Open final def. Rafael Nadal 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5), 7–5
  9. ^ French Open semifinal def. by Rafael Nadal 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 6–7(3), 7–9
  10. ^ Rome semifinal def. Andy Murray 6–1, 3–6, 7–6(2)
  11. ^ Shanghai final def. Andy Murray 5–7, 7–6(11), 6–3
  12. ^ Montreal semifinal def. by Rafael Nadal 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(2)

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Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Last modified on 23 April 2014, at 02:38